Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
National Funding

Portugal 2020 is a partnership agreement signed between Portugal and the European Commission, which encompasses the action of five European Structural & Investment Funds – ERDF, Cohesion Fund, ESF, EAFRD and EMFF. This partnership defines the measures to be taken in terms of economic, social and territorial development to be applied in Portugal between 2014 and 2020. 

Portugal 2020 is organised in 16 Operational, Theme and Regional Programmes, of which the most important to U.Porto are:

4 414 million €

2 130 million €

3 096 million €

2 253 million €

3 379 million €

Portugal will receive 25 billion € until 2020. This amount will be divided between the 16 different operational, theme and regional programmes.  

Norte 2020 is one of the Regional Programmes of Portugal 2020. This programme is the financial instrument of development of the Portuguese northern regional (managed by CDDR-N - Comissão de Coordenação e Desenvolvimento Regional do Norte -Commission for the Coordination and Development of the Northern Region). This commission will invest 3.4 billion € of the community funds. 

In order to apply to Portugal 2020, you should check the notifications of open call for proposals. Afterwards, and in order to select the call that better suits your interests, you should contact the Project Management Office. After a call is selected, the proposal must be submitted via Balcão 2020 (online platform). 

Balcão 2020 is the gateway to all operational, theme and regional programmes of Portugal 2020. Balcão 2020 is indeed an online platform where one can access all support services related to these grants. You can submit proposals, prepare and interact with information, and follow-up the different phases of the project.

On Balcão 2020, U.Porto’s professors and researchers may:

  • Submit proposals;
  • Check the current account of the project.

On Balcão 2020, Project Management Office staff may:

  • Register contracts and tender procedures;
  • Submit request for payments/advance payments, reimbursements;
  • Submit reprogramming requests;
  • Check the current account of projects. 

The Project Management Office registered all of U.Porto’s faculties, autonomous services, Rectorate and R&D Units on the platform. All of these institutions are sub-entities of the beneficiary with legal personality – University of Porto. Therefore, a professor or researcher may submit his/her proposal on Balcão 2020 with the credentials made available to the director of the faculty, autonomous service, Rectorate or R&D Unit. 

The information to be included in a Portugal 2020 proposal form may vary according to the call for proposals. However, it is expected that the application form may be composed of the following themes:

  • Characterisation of the promoting entity of the project
  • Characterisation of partner entities
  • Brief description and type of project
  • Project objectives
  • Implementation plan and description of project activities
  • Technical staff involved in the project
  • Investment Framework
  • Project impact and merits
  • Eligible expenses may vary according to the call for proposals. However, R&D projects usually fund the following expenses:

    • Human Resources

    Normally, under this budget category, supplementary remuneration of professors, researchers and other staff are usually not eligible. Eligible expenses with human resources (currently hired or to be hired) dedicated to R&D activities, including expenses with scholarships directly supported by the beneficiary usually follow a methodology foreseen in the call for proposals.

    • Travel (Portugal and abroad)

    Under this budget category, travels in Portugal and abroad, which are directly connected to the project are usually eligible.

    • Scientific Equipment

    The purchase of scientific and technical equipment or instruments, required to the project, are usually eligible expenses, if they are used for the entirety of the project. Only the depreciation of scientific and technical equipment or instruments required to the project, which useful life is within the period of the project, but also surpasses it, is an eligible expense.

    • Other goods and services

    The purchase of other goods and services directly connected to the implementation of the project are usually eligible expenses. Subcontracts are also eligible if directly connected to the project.

    • Patents

    Costs related to IPR (eg. national and international patent filing, utility models and design, trademarks, etc) like fees, state-of-the-art research and consulting services are usually considered eligible costs.

    • Buildings and infrastructures

    Such costs are only eligible for funding if deemed essential to project completion, namely in connection with environmental and security issues.

    • Indirect costs

    Indirect costs comprise all those eligible costs identified by the applicant as being necessary and directly linked to the completion of the action. Usually, a flat rate is applied, up to 25% of the direct costs of the project.

    All expenses covered by Portugal 2020 shall be supported by invoices issued with dates between 1 January 2014 and 31 July 2023. Cofunding by the project promoter shall occur for at least 5 years.

    After the submission of the applications through Balcão 2020, as from the call for proposals deadline, the managing authority shall decide within 60 days. This deadline may be interrupted if further clarifications are requested to the applicant. 

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